In a previous post, we discussed ways cyclists can stay safe on the road.
This post will examine what cyclists need to know about riding near trucks, buses and street cars and how the law in Ontario applies to bicycles. This information can be found in the Ministry of Transportation’s (MTO) publication, Cycling Skills- Ontario’s Guide to Safe Cycling.
The MTO emphasizes the importance of staying out of blind spots of bus and truck drivers. The rule of thumb is if you can see the eyes of the driver in their mirror, they can see you. It is best to stay well ahead, or well behind large trucks and buses.
When the upper red lights of a stopped school bus are flashing, traffic must stop in both directions. Traffic is not allowed to proceed until the bus resumes motion or the lights stop flashing.
In terms of streetcars, the law stipulates that cyclists pass streetcars on the right.
The MTO offers other safety tips that cyclists want to consider such as the fact that most bicycle brakes work poorly in the rain, and aluminum and ally rims provide the best wet weather braking.
Under the Highway Traffic Act, a bicycle is considered a vehicle, and a bicyclist has the same rights and responsibilities as other road users when it comes to obeying traffic laws. Cyclists are subject to fines for failure to comply with the rules of the road.
For example, section 144/136 sets out the obligation to stop for red lights and stop signs and comply with all other signs; failure to do so results in an $85.00 fine.
If a cyclist rides the wrong way on a designated one-way street (section 153), an $85.00 fine can be charged.
The requirement for slower traffic to drive in the right-hand lane, or as close as possible to the right edge of the road (except for when turning left/passing another vehicle) is found at section 147 and the fine for failing to do so is $85.00.
Cyclists can be fined $85.00 for riding in crosswalks according to section 140(6)/244(29) which states that cyclists have to walk their bikes when crossing at a crosswalk.
Bikes are require to have certain lights on them. Section 62(17) states that bicycles must have a write front light and a red rear light and other visibility requirements or be subject to a fine of $20.00. Bicycles must have a bell or horn in good working order according to section 75(5) and at least one brake system section 64(3), or else pay a fine of $85.
Bicycles are not allowed on highways and expressways as outlined regulation 630 of the HTA or else there is a fee of $85.00.
There is a significant fine of $400.00 or failure to stop for stopped school busses when a bus’s upper lights are flashing.
We hope that everyone practices safe cycling and driving, and cyclists and drivers and share the road this spring!
If you or someone you know has been injured as the result of a bicycle or motor vehicle accident, it is important that you contact the experienced Windsor personal injury lawyers at Paciocco & Mellow at (519) 915-SORE (7673). We can provide you with a free, no obligation initial consultation.
We understand that you may feel overwhelmed as a result of your accident and during the legal process and we strive to provide the best service possible and to help our clients in any way that we can, be it a referral to a specialist, rehabilitation provider, help securing a litigation loan or providing reassurance.
The law firm of Paciocco & Mellow aims to help provide you with Peace of Mind at a Difficult Time.